Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1,018 KB)

Title: Predicted fire behavior and societal benefits in three eastern Sierra Nevada vegetation types

Author: Dicus, C.A.; Delfino, K.; Weise, D.R.;

Date: 2009

Source: Fire Ecology 5(1): 67-78

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: We investigated potential fire behavior and various societal benefits (air pollution removal, carbon sequestration, and carbon storage) provided by woodlands of pinyon pine (Pinus monophylla) and juniper (Juniperus californica), shrublands of Great Basin sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa), and recently burned annual grasslands near a wildland-urban interface (WUI) community in the high desert of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fire behavior simulations showed that shrublands had the greatest flame lengths under low wind conditions, and that pinyon-juniper woodlands had the greatest flame lengths when winds exceeded 25 km hr-1 and fire transitioned to the crowns. Air pollution removal capacity (PM10, O3, NO2, etc.) was significantly greater in pinyon-juniper stands, followed by shrublands and grasslands. Carbon storage (trees and burned tree snags only) did not significantly differ between pinyon-juniper and burned stands (~14 000 kg ha-1), but will change as burned snags decompose. Annual C sequestration rates in pinyon-juniper stands averaged 630 kg ha-1 yr-1. A landscape-level assessment showed that total compliance with residential defensible space regulations would result in minimal impact to air pollution removal capacity and carbon sequestration due to a currently low population density. Our methodology provides a practical mechanism to assess how potential management options might simultaneously impact both fire behavior and various environmental services provided by WUI vegetation.

Keywords: air pollution removal, Artemesia tridentata, carbon sequestration, fire behavior, FlamMap, NEXUS, Pinus monophylla, UFORE, wildland-urban interface

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Dicus, C.A.; Delfino, K.; Weise, D.R. 2009. Predicted fire behavior and societal benefits in three eastern Sierra Nevada vegetation types. Fire Ecology 5(1): 67-78


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.